P. Michiel Westenberg

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The relation between brain development across adolescence and adolescent risky behavior has attracted increasing interest in recent years. It has been proposed that adolescents are hypersensitive to reward because of an imbalance in the developmental pattern followed by the striatum and prefrontal cortex. To date, it is unclear if adolescents engage in(More)
Recent models hypothesize that adolescents' risky behavior is the consequence of increased sensitivity to rewards in the ventral medial (VM) prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the ventral striatum (VS), paired with immature cognitive control abilities due to slow maturation of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and lateral PFC. We tested this hypothesis(More)
During adolescence pubertal development is said to lead to an increase in general stress sensitivity which might create a vulnerability for the emergence of psychopathology during this period. However, the empirical evidence for increasing stress sensitivity is scarce and mixed. Biological responses (salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase) were investigated(More)
Feedback processing is crucial for successful performance adjustment following changing task demands. The present event-related fMRI study was aimed at investigating the developmental differences in brain regions associated with different aspects of feedback processing. Children age 8-11, adolescents age 14-15, and adults age 18-24 performed a rule switch(More)
This study describes a new public speaking protocol for youth. The main question asked whether a speech prepared at home and given in front of a pre-recorded audience creates a condition of social-evaluative threat. Findings showed that, on average, this task elicits a moderate stress response in a community sample of 83 12- to 15-year-old adolescents.(More)
The psychometric properties of the Buss and Plomin (1984) EAS Temperament Survey for Children (Parental Ratings) were examined in a sample of Dutch children between 4 and 13 years of age. Ratings were obtained from 230 mothers and 172 fathers. The findings presented here provide the lacking cross-validation of the original analyses by Rowe and Plomin(More)
The relation between individual differences in personality and differences in developmental maturity was studied by relating observations of personality by multiple, independent judges to level of ego development. The personality characteristics of longitudinally followed Ss (104 at age 14; 98 at age 23) were evaluated by the California Adult Q-Set (CAQ);(More)
Interpretation bias, described as the tendency to interpret social situations in a negative or threatening manner, has been widely linked to social anxiety in adult populations. This study aimed to extend research on interpretation bias to an adolescent population. Thirty-seven high socially anxious and a control group of 36 non-socially anxious adolescents(More)
BACKGROUND The frequently reported decline in the overall frequency and intensity of fears during late childhood and adolescence may mask different developmental patterns for two broad subclasses of fears: fears concerning physical danger and fears concerning social evaluation. It was investigated if physical fears decrease between late childhood and(More)
Common folklore seems to suggest that adolescents are particularly susceptible to peer influence. However, from the literature the exact age differences in susceptibility to peer influence remain unclear. The current study's main focus was to chart the development of general susceptibility to peer pressure in a community sample of 10-18 year olds (N =464)(More)